Geosequestration researchers drill CO2 injection test well

A MAJOR new phase of the Otway Basin Project, Australia’s first geosequestration project, has begun with the drilling of CO2CRC’s research well in south-western Victoria.
Geosequestration researchers drill CO2 injection test well 
Geosequestration researchers drill CO2 injection test well 
Geosequestration researchers drill CO2 injection test well 
Geosequestration researchers drill CO2 injection test well 
Geosequestration researchers drill CO2 injection test well

CO2CRC chief executive Dr Peter Cook said the new well was intended to enable geologists to confirm computer modelling of the underground storage site before beginning injection of up to 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

The drilling of the new well is taking place in Nirranda South, near Warrnambool, in southwest Victoria. It is expected that the well will take 22 days to drill.

“During this initial research phase, geologists will conduct a detailed analysis of the rock samples taken from the new well to confirm the existence of suitable rock sequences for geosequestration,” Cook said.

“The sequence we expect to find, porous sandstone overlain by impermeable mudstone, will ensure that carbon dioxide can be safely and securely stored at this site.”

The 2300-metre well, CRC-1, will also confirm the exact depth and location of the proposed underground CO2-storage reservoir.

“One of the most important elements of the project is to demonstrate to the community, government regulators and industry that geosequestration works and that carbon dioxide can be stored safely and monitored in rocks deep in the subsurface,” Cook said.

“Monitoring activities are already in place in readiness for the injection of carbon dioxide in the second half of this year, subject to final planning and environmental approvals.

“We are establishing one of the world’s leading monitoring and verification programs for geosequestration. Baseline levels already being recorded of carbon dioxide in the soil, air and groundwater will be regularly compared with levels monitored throughout the project.”

Geosequestration of CO2 is intended to reduce the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

CO2CRC collaborates with leading international and national carbon capture and storage experts to conduct world-class research into carbon dioxide geosequestration.

Research organisations supporting and participating in the CO2CRC geosequestration research project in Victoria include CSIRO, Geoscience Australia and the Universities of Adelaide, Curtin, Melbourne, Monash and NSW; the Alberta Research Council in Canada and the US Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

CO2CRC industry and state core partners are ACARP, Anglo American, BHP Billiton, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, NSW Department of Primary Industries, NZ Resource Consortium, Rio Tinto, Schlumberger, Shell, Foundation for Research Science and Technology (NZ), Solid Energy, Stanwell, the Victorian Department of Primary Industries, Woodside and Xstrata. CO2CRC is supported through the Australian Government’s CRC Program.

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